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KC diocese bans former high school teacher accused of sexually abusing minor in 1970s

KC diocese clergy at Service of Lament for sexual abuse victims

Clergy members of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph clergy surrounded the altar as the congregation sang "You Are Mine" at the beginning of a Service of Lament at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as a public apology for decades of se
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Clergy members of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph clergy surrounded the altar as the congregation sang "You Are Mine" at the beginning of a Service of Lament at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception as a public apology for decades of se

A former Bishop Hogan High School teacher accused of sexually abusing a student has been banned from working or volunteering in the dioceses on both sides of the state line after an investigation found the allegation credible.

Gregory Schell is accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1970s, according to a complaint received by the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph in October.

The allegation was shared with law enforcement, diocese spokesman Jack Smith said. Police declined to investigate because the statute of limitations had expired.

Schell was banned from both the Diocese of Kansas City-St Joseph and the Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. The move comes after the archdiocese released the names of 22 priests who have had substantiated claims of sexual abuse against minors made against them in the past 75 years.

No current members of the ministry were on the list.

Schell taught at Bishop Hogan High School on Meyer Boulevard from 1973 to 1975 and was also a coach from 1973 to 1987. The high school closed in 1998 and the building is now a public charter school, Hogan Preparatory Academy.

Schell also served as assistant principal at the now-closed St. Mary High School in Independence from 1991 to 1993.

Most recently, Schell had been working as a substitute teacher and volunteering in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

“The investigation was conducted by our independent Ombudsman, Jenifer Valenti, and by the Reports Investigator for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas,” Smith said in an email. “Their report was shared with our Independent Review Board which found the accusation credible and recommended that Mr. Schell should not have any employment or volunteer duties in the diocese.”

Schell had been put on administrative leave during the investigation.

In a release, the diocese asked anyone harmed by Schell or any other person who worked or volunteered for the church to contact the Missouri child abuse hotline, 800-392-3738, local law enforcement and Valenti, the diocesan ombudsman, 816-812-2500 or jenifervalenti@att.net.

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Katy Bergen covers Johnson County for The Kansas City Star. She is a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.

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